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Brexit: Why I regret voting to leave the European Union and now want the UK to remain

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 23/06/2017 Chloe Chaplain

A disgruntled Brexiteer who voted to leave the European Union because of "bullying" David Cameron has revealed she is one of many who regrets their decision as the reality of the UK's exit deal dawns.

Denise Huk, a primary school teacher from Essex, said she was swayed by the Leave campaign’s promise of more money in public services.

She said she felt David Cameron used "scaremongering" techniques to "bully" people into voting to remain.

But she told the Standard she has since felt deceived by the Leave campaign and is concerned about the future of the UK as it negotiates leaving the EU.

“I wanted to leave because they were talking about the £350 million that would go into the NHS and I thought we could do with that money,” she said.

“I thought there are better things to do with it. There is education, health, everything – it is all being cut.”

The 49-year-old, who lives with her daughter Chloe, 17, and sons James 16 and Robin, 11, near Colchester, said the reality of the Brexit deal outlined by Theresa May was not what she had been in favour of.

In or out? an anti-Brexit protester in London, but Parliament has now voted to trigger Article 50 (AFP/Getty Images)

“I then had more regrets when Theresa May started talking about her ‘hard Brexit’,” she said.

“I was not expecting to leave the single market. I thought there would be more opportunities to trade, not fewer.

False: Brexiteers backtracked over the £350million saving for NHS claim (© John Cobb / Greenpeace)

“And at the moment we have not actually got a government to lead the negotiations. We do not have any bargaining tools and we have a PM who is just about clinging onto power.

“I feel that she is really backing us into a corner.”

Ms Huk is not alone in regretting her decision, with a survey carried out in February by The Mirror revealing that 13.5 per cent of those who voted to Leave had since changed their mind.

Ms Huk, who voted for Labour for the first time in the 2017 election, said she did not believe David Cameron led a convincing Remain campaign in the lead up to the referendum.

David Cameron acknowledges applause during his final session of prime minister's questions (AP)

“One of the reasons I voted for Brexit is because I felt that David Cameron was not outlining positive reasons for us to stay in the EU – he was just trying to scare us into not leaving by saying all the terrible things that would happen.

© Provided by Independent Print Limited

“And I thought ‘I’m not going to be bullied by you into not voting to leave’ – because I really did feel he was behaving like a playground bully.

"But now I am shocked the negotiations are going ahead.

"We need to sort out the problems in our country before we can move on to negotiating with the EU."


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